The Vancouver Canucks fired Jim Benning after eight seasons as the team’s general manager (GM). The former scout-turned-general manager tried to help the team transition through the rebuild. Benning has made some great moves during his tenure, but there have also been quite a few questionable deals and signings.
Ryan Kessler Trading
Ryan Kessler’s deal It was Benning’s first big move. Made in Vancouver. The forward was reluctant to be part of the direction proposed by the new general manager, and Kessler handcuffed Benning because he was only willing to waive a no-trade clause to the Chicago Blackhawks or the Anaheim Ducks. Although they tried to get him to expand his roster, they couldn’t.
Canucks eventually trade forward and third-round pick to Ducks for center Nick Bonino, guard Luca Spisa, a first- and third-round pick in the 2014 NHL draft. They hope Bonino can replace Kessler’s scoring.
“Bonino is an important part,” Benning said. “Ryan scored 25 goals for us last year. [Bonino] Scored 22 goals last year, so can replace [Kesler’s] Next year’s goals for our team, he can play with strength, he’s a playmaker, and I think that’s important. “
Bonino scored 15 goals and scored 39 points in 75 games before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Brandon Sutter in the offseason. Before the Vegas Golden Knights selected him in the expansion draft, Spiza was probably one of the worst defensive players on one of the league’s worst teams during his time in Vancouver.Canucks select Jared McCann with 2014 first-round pick, then trade McCann Traded to the Florida Panthers Involving Eric Goodbranson. They traded the Ducks’ 2014 third-round pick to the New York Rangers for Derek Dorset.
The deal didn’t work out as both parties hoped. Kessler did not win the Stanley Cup and is a long-term IR. His demands put Benning in limbo due to his short trade list, and the deal leaves the Canucks with just Sutter and Tanna Pearson in 2019-20, given Kessler’s quality of players , which is impressive. While Pearson has had his moments, Sutter hasn’t impressed during his time at the club.
Sign Radim Vrbata
In addition to the Kessler trade, signing Ladim Fabata was another big move for Benning in 2014. Benning added Vrbata to Sidding as a winger. He signed a two-year contract, worth $10 million.
In his first season, the 33-year-old Vrbata did not disappoint, scoring a career-high 63 points in 79 games. In his 13th season, he finished in the top 15 In the top 10 with 13 goals out of 31 goals, and in the top 10 with 7 goals in the game.
He also led the Canucks with 31 goals, and when he started the season with Sedding, he was moved to the second tier to provide the team with a secondary score. On the other hand, his second season was a disappointment. He had a 36-point drop and 27 in 63 games. Statistically, it was one of his worst seasons, cause him to return Arizona Coyotes.
Signing Vrbata for the 2014-15 season didn’t help the team much the following year. The Canucks had one of the worst seasons in franchise history in 2015-16, which also affected his performance. Adding him certainly helped the team in 2014-15, which is why the Canucks made the playoffs, making Vrbata a good signing.
Signed Louis Erickson
Benning signs Luis Eriksen after scoring 30 goals and 63 points in 82 games with Boston Bruins A six-year, $36 million contract After the 2015-16 season. Benning expects the Swedish forward to provide the team with excellent scoring, playmaking, defense and leadership. Although he has been reliable in penalty shootouts and anticipation, he has 38 goals and 90 points in 252 games for the Canucks.
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Eriksen’s time with the Canucks was disappointing, and the team had a hat problem during that time. During the 2021 offseason, the Canucks will add Erickson along with Antoine Roselle, Jay Beagle, the ninth overall pick in the 2021 NHL draft, and a 2022 second-round pick. and a 2023 seventh-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for Oliver Ekman-Larson and Conor Garland.
Erickson’s signing of Benning was one of the worst moves GM has ever made. The Canucks didn’t get what they paid for Eriksen in five seasons with Eriksen.
JT Miller’s deal
Benning traded goalie Marek Mazanek, a 2019 third-round pick and a conditional 2020 first-round pick in exchange for the Tampa Bay Chargers JT Miller, he has been outstanding in his first three seasons with the Canucks. Since joining the club, he has scored 50 goals and 141 points in 147 games, leading the team. The addition of the 28-year-old striker means a lot to the team as they find the first-line left-wing player they need.he Brings more than just his offense Be present on the team and provide leadership to the young players on the team.
“His leadership in the room, his willingness to try and help teach young players . . . I think if we examine all the players in our group, our young players, JT has played a role in their progress this year.” Benning said in an interview with Sportsnet’s Ian McIntyre. “He’s playing with Petey and Boes (Brock Boeser) and will be on the bench with them and work with them. But there are guys like Jake Virtanen. . . JT will work with Jake and I think he’s right Jack’s game progress has had a positive impact.”
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Miller will play a major role in the team’s 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, scoring six goals and scoring 18 points in 17 games. As for Benning, adding Miller is the best trade he’s made so far because he doesn’t have to give up much for a player who’s averaging close to a point a game.
Trading Taylor Tofos
The Canucks traded Tim Schaller, Tyler Madden, a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional 2022 fourth-round pick to the Los Angeles Kings ahead of the 2020 NHL trade deadline exchange Tyler Tofrey. Tofley played 10 games for the Canucks in the regular season, scoring 6 goals and scoring 10 points. He contributed two goals and four points in seven playoff games with the team.
Tofrey, one of four players the Canucks lost in 2020 free agency, signed a four-year, $17 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens. Jacob Markstrom, Chris Tanev and Troy Stecher also signed elsewhere. Tofley wrote an article In the Players’ Tribune, he discussed how he’s enjoying his time in the city and sees it as the start of something special. He added that the Canucks not offering him a contract would be one of Benning’s biggest mistakes. The general manager said his time was running out due to the inability to create cap space to re-sign the forward. The organization lost a lot in the Toffoli trade as the team couldn’t re-sign him and lost Madden and two draft picks.
The Ekman-Larsson and Garland deal
Benning’s last big move was to add Ekman-Larson and Garland. The Canucks were able to offload three overpaid contracts while adding a top-four pick and a top-six forward, even though they had to give up the ninth pick and two picks in the 2021 NHL draft . The team also got Ekman Larson’s contract with six years left, worth $7.26 million. The first two or three years of his contract might not be a problem, but the last three years might.
Meanwhile, the addition of Garland is key to the deal. Before the season, the 25-year-old signed a five-year, $24.75 million contract. He has scored seven goals and scored 18 points in 25 games this season. So far, Benning’s last trade is a win for the Canucks, but it depends on how Ekman Larson plays out for the team over the next six seasons.
Lots of misses and some hits
Many of Benning’s trades and signings didn’t work out. With the signing of Eriksen, the trade of Kessler, he has some lousy extensions.Sutter received a five-year contract worth $21.875, Sbisa extended for three years, valued at $10.8 million. Similar to Eriksen, neither player has fulfilled their deals.
On the other hand, similar to the Miller deal, Benning made some great deals. For example, re-signing captains Bohovat and Brock Bother to a team-friendly deal won’t hurt the team in the future. Also, trading off three overpaid contracts for Ekman-Larsson and Garland is a short-term win.
Sartaaj has watched hockey for over 15 years and covers the Vancouver Canucks for hockey writers.